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tipsy mcstagger

McClure's BBQ:. Help me feed medical crews please!!!

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3 minutes ago, msommer said:

Mail sent

I tried to send an email but it wouldn't go through. I'm definitely interested in a couple of shirts. 

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9 minutes ago, In The Zone said:

I tried to send an email but it wouldn't go through. I'm definitely interested in a couple of shirts. 

Try again, mine seems to have gone through

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We ended up going for an early dinner to McClures. Unfortunate luck: no tipsy present when we were there but they said he was earlier. 

Food was excellent. My group thanked me for the recommendation. 

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Decisions time: 

The writing seems to be on the wall....this isn't working out here where drink profits are not part of my bottom line....which are needed for the ridiculous debt I incurred to get rid of my 1st investor/so-called partner.  Even the potential failure of McBbq is worth that choice...he was a bad call on my over-eager-to-open ###.  But... something has to give now.  Im bleeding to death cash flow wise and am literally working myself to death to keep that from happening.   

 

Now what?   

1. Bank loan with less aggressive payments than what im stuck in now.   Would definitely stabilize me if i could payback  this chunk over a longer period than current terms.  Not super hopeful this happens...but trying.

2. Looking at major menu change with much lower food and labor costs..bbq being the worst of both of those.  Or

3.  bankruptcy and no freaking clue whats next.   Id rather not go here, but im aware its a possibility.

Please don't call or reach out right now.  Not feeling to chatty but had to get this off my chest.  Haven't wanted to share too much of the ugly side of this biz in this thread, but i need the sounding board that is the FFA.  If you are one of my locals i really need your discretion on bringing this up.   

 

Sigh.  Thanks for listening.  And the years of support.  

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Is the liquor license the big reason you didn't keep the place on Magazine and went with the brewery location?

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I have zero business knowledge, but just want to say good luck

Your thread has been awesome to follow and it is actually the sole reason my wife booked a trip for us to go to New Orleans. We enjoyed it. Not only was your food AWESOME, but that chicken under a brick at Dantes was fantastic as well 

I hope that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for you. You are very good at what you do and deserve to stick around. 

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Sorry to hear, Tipsy.  Hope you can get something worked out, partly for selfish reasons as I think we're finally going to make it down there in March.

(Meaning NO in general - my wife's cousin lives there - but would love to be able to check out whatever you've got going while we're there)

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4 minutes ago, heckmanm said:

Sorry to hear, Tipsy.  Hope you can get something worked out, partly for selfish reasons as I think we're finally going to make it down there in March.

(Meaning NO in general - my wife's cousin lives there - but would love to be able to check out whatever you've got going while we're there)

Not dead yet

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38 minutes ago, Foosball God said:

Is the liquor license the big reason you didn't keep the place on Magazine and went with the brewery location?

The neighbors sued me and eventually shut down the smokers. ...the dayvthe brewery wanted to have me cook a pig which led our partnerahip.   Which has been great honestly.  If not for the crippling debt loop, i wouldn't be saying any of this.

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19 minutes ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

Not dead yet

Definitely planning to drag our group to wherever you're cooking while I'm there.

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Hate to hear this, GB.  Just know, you've got lots of supporters here. I don't want to press because it seems like you're trying to vent but if you ever want to brainstorm I think there are a bunch of us here willing.  Sounds to me like this ex-partner/shylock is the problem.

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36 minutes ago, Ron Swanson said:

Hate to hear this, GB.  Just know, you've got lots of supporters here. I don't want to press because it seems like you're trying to vent but if you ever want to brainstorm I think there are a bunch of us here willing.  Sounds to me like this ex-partner/shylock is the problem.

Im willing to listen to any suggestions.   

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36 minutes ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

Im willing to listen to any suggestions.   

I'll PM some thoughts.

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8 hours ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

The neighbors sued me and eventually shut down the smokers. ...the dayvthe brewery wanted to have me cook a pig which led our partnerahip.   Which has been great honestly.  If not for the crippling debt loop, i wouldn't be saying any of this.

Smoker at the brewery is as big as a small car. Follow up to my Sept trip: McClures was the best meal my group had (unanimously chosen)

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9 hours ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

Decisions time: 

The writing seems to be on the wall....this isn't working out here where drink profits are not part of my bottom line....which are needed for the ridiculous debt I incurred to get rid of my 1st investor/so-called partner.  Even the potential failure of McBbq is worth that choice...he was a bad call on my over-eager-to-open ###.  But... something has to give now.  Im bleeding to death cash flow wise and am literally working myself to death to keep that from happening.   

 

Now what?   

1. Bank loan with less aggressive payments than what im stuck in now.   Would definitely stabilize me if i could payback  this chunk over a longer period than current terms.  Not super hopeful this happens...but trying.

2. Looking at major menu change with much lower food and labor costs..bbq being the worst of both of those.  Or

3.  bankruptcy and no freaking clue whats next.   Id rather not go here, but im aware its a possibility.

Please don't call or reach out right now.  Not feeling to chatty but had to get this off my chest.  Haven't wanted to share too much of the ugly side of this biz in this thread, but i need the sounding board that is the FFA.  If you are one of my locals i really need your discretion on bringing this up.   

 

Sigh.  Thanks for listening.  And the years of support.  

My thoughts FWIW....I think you've built enough following/goodwill where your best bet is finding the right partners who have the $ and connections who can make sure you can pay off/manage your loan to get your own standalone place.  You probably know the specifics more than I do, but clearly there were outside funds (meaning non chef) for Blue Oak and Central City, who both seem to be doing really well.  Obviously name of the game is location, location, location; so having people on the inside who find out about opportunities before the general public is key.  

Take some time, reflect on what you want (location, bar, setup, etc) and build out a plan for that and use your network.  Be honest about what your strengths and weaknesses are....document them and look for partners who are strong where you are weak.  I know you're a humble guy, but you've got a solid product in a good food town, so that has clout.  

I don't know #### about the restaurant business, but I do know business and risk management...always happy to be a sounding board or just someone to vent to if you get around to wanting to do that.

Stay strong...you got this!

 

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Hey man,

Thoughts are with you.  If I can help shoot me a PM.  

Gator

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Today is last day of regular bbq service.   New menu stuff starts tomorrow.   BBQ catering and weekly pop up still planned.    May all be too late though.   Next couple of weeks will determine a lot.

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1 hour ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

Today is last day of regular bbq service.   New menu stuff starts tomorrow.   BBQ catering and weekly pop up still planned.    May all be too late though.   Next couple of weeks will determine a lot.

Best of luck!

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On 12/17/2019 at 2:46 PM, tipsy mcstagger said:

The neighbors sued me and eventually shut down the smokers.

That's pretty crazy.  NOLA seems lawless.

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28 minutes ago, Slapdash said:

That's pretty crazy.  NOLA seems lawless.

Only if you don't have a good lawyer judge.

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3 hours ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

Today is last day of regular bbq service.   New menu stuff starts tomorrow.   BBQ catering and weekly pop up still planned.    May all be too late though.   Next couple of weeks will determine a lot.

I'm going to be super bummed if I missed my chance to taste your food.  That pales in comparison to the uncertainty in your life I know, but know that we're all rooting for you Neil.

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7 hours ago, Foosball God said:

I'm going to be super bummed if I missed my chance to taste your food.  That pales in comparison to the uncertainty in your life I know, but know that we're all rooting for you Neil.

This for me too. I’ll be rooting for you, especially since I’m coming down there in March 

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Good luck Tipsy. I think this thread speaks to how hard it is to open a restaurant. The positive press and reviews (aside from the portly one from Cinnamon) and yet it’s been a real struggle. That really sucks.

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Best of luck Neil. I know you have poured your heart and soul into this.  And you have delivered top notch food.  Hope I get to sample all meats all sides again and toast to your success. Keep fighting man

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Hang in there Buddy. 

I'll say here what I said to you on the phone. You Are Not Your Business.

I'll say it again. You Are Not Your Business.

I know your name's on the wall. 

I know everyone knows it's your restaurant.

I know you've poured all you've got into this.

Your business is still not you. 

Don't ever forget that.

And also don't ever forget you are loved, Buddy. 

 

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I am not my business, but Im still keeping my name on it.  Now its just Mcclure's.   Im starting to move beyond the emotional side of things and focusing in on moving forward.  I will not lie...the last couple of weeks have felt like my lowest.   But i cant and wont dwell.  This too shall pass.   I still might fail overall, but it won't be the end of me.   

 

I have gone back to sleep the last two days after 3am  #poop1 of the day.   That hasn't been the norm for years now.  Felt nice. Still...cant rest past 530 just yet.  I think thats a reasonable hour to wake up honestly.

 

Menu slowly transitioning.  I have to take it slow...the bbq is gone which means everything is cook to order now.  Burgers , Fried Chicken Sandwiches, and bar snacks so far.     Ill take the near 20% drop in projected food & labor cost.

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Oh man @tipsy mcstagger, so sorry to hear of your struggles. It was a pleasure meeting you in person back a few years... though your personality likely seemed improved since I was downing some delicious BBQ.

Restaurant biz is brutal... and if bankruptcy from the business end provides a fresh start, that is why those rules are in place. 
 

Such a bummer that a good person who tried to do the right thing and makes a spectacular product still has such a tough road to make ends meet... and to think this all borne of helping neighbors back with Katrina.

Thank you for sharing and as noted, while it may not be nearly enough, you have a huge rooting section be it BBQ, chicken Sammies, or whatever may be next. 

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1 hour ago, eoMMan said:

Sell packaged mail order BBQ to FBGs?

I'd buy some.

Great idea.  Count me in if you do this.  I’d bet the fbg contingent could make it worth your while.  

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Just caught up on this thread, since summer. Pulling for you, dude!

Whatever happens, i have faith you'll land on your feet and keep creating food that makes me drool, just reading about it. Every successful person always says their setbacks taught them way more than their successes. GL, GB.

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Meh...got to get your hand in the drink kitty. If NOLA is anything like many other places, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a micro brewery. The differentiater is the experience. If that experience is in part due to your food, the you should be reaping a cut of the abusive profit on drinks. 

If you cant make that happen, then what is your source of excellence. From what I’ve heard, it’s cooking exceptional food. Is that cooking burgers and fries?  If not, then find an avenue to leverage your best talents and the rewards will follow. 

Lastly, I think your pretty good at sales and marketing. Based on your posts here, out working most others is something you’re Go at too. Find an avenue where being successful there brings profit to you and not someone else. 

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I know jack #### about the restaurant business, but it seems to me that it must be DAMN hard to do well if you're producing high quality food AND not getting the full benefit of the profits from a liquor license.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, TLEF316 said:

I know jack #### about the restaurant business, but it seems to me that it must be DAMN hard to do well if you're producing high quality food AND not getting the full benefit of the profits from a liquor license.

 

Just looking online it shows 30% of a restaurants profits are from liquor sales.  No idea if that's true, but if so, not being able to serve liquor would be a killer.

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You showed me tremendous generosity years ago when I was in NOLA. You’re a good dude and pulling for you! 

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On 12/30/2019 at 5:48 AM, Joe Bryant said:

Hang in there Buddy. 

I'll say here what I said to you on the phone. You Are Not Your Business.

I'll say it again. You Are Not Your Business.

I know your name's on the wall. 

I know everyone knows it's your restaurant.

I know you've poured all you've got into this.

Your business is still not you. 

Don't ever forget that.

And also don't ever forget you are loved, Buddy. 

 

Such great advice.  This goes for whether your name is on the front of the business or not.  My best friend told me when I was going through a rough time at one company "remember - this is just what you do.  It's not who you are".  I don't think a single statement ever stuck with me more than that one.  It's so true.  Easy to internalize it because we put self worth and identity into whatever "success" is at work.  But it's not who we are.

You have a gift with people.  That was evident just chillin' with you as you made my friends feel so welcome at Dante's.  Then the following you have created at McClure's.  You make terrific food.  I marveled at your creativity as you came up with new ideas from the pop up to the restaurants.  If that's still your passion you can tweak the business and model.  If not this go round then the next.   Keep your mind and body healthy.   Can't wait to get back to NO and have a beer, taste the new grub, etc!

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5 hours ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

I am not my business, but Im still keeping my name on it.  Now its just Mcclure's.   Im starting to move beyond the emotional side of things and focusing in on moving forward.  I will not lie...the last couple of weeks have felt like my lowest.   But i cant and wont dwell.  This too shall pass.   I still might fail overall, but it won't be the end of me.   

 

I have gone back to sleep the last two days after 3am  #poop1 of the day.   That hasn't been the norm for years now.  Felt nice. Still...cant rest past 530 just yet.  I think thats a reasonable hour to wake up honestly.

 

Menu slowly transitioning.  I have to take it slow...the bbq is gone which means everything is cook to order now.  Burgers , Fried Chicken Sandwiches, and bar snacks so far.     Ill take the near 20% drop in projected food & labor cost.

Hey  Tipsy,

I don't know what your experience is with the new delivery apps, but you may want to think about creating some virtual restaurants on them. Basically you could create different restaurant brands that only exist on the delivery apps. All the food of each virtual restaurant is just cooked in your one kitchen and handed over to the delivery drivers. Check out this article about them and pay attention to the Mr. Lopez in the story. At the  end of the story it says he was working 110 hour weeks to keep his restaurant afloat, but the addition of virtual restaurants has stabilized the income so that he no longer has to do that. 

Given your creativity I think you could make some awesome virtual restaurants and they basically cost nothing to create. If the concept fails, you just lose your effort of coming up with the menu ideas for it. And if you are already working until the early morning, you might be able to tap into the 11 pm to 1 am crowd where in the 2nd article Lopez said 95% of his deliveries are occurring. 

First article: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/technology/uber-eats-ghost-kitchens.html

Second article: https://america.cgtn.com/2019/09/12/delivery-apps-cook-up-demand-for-new-brands-with-virtual-restaurants

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The virtual kitchen thing.... I don't have space for that inside the brewery.  And those services tend to take to big a cut to be worth it imho.   I see the outside food delivery services as a huge plague to my industry...but lets not get too deep here.

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No advice to give but I'm pulling for you man. Anytime someone tells me they are going to New Orleans I recommend your place even though I've never eaten your food. 

GL GB

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My wife still raves about the BBQ feast we had there a couple months ago. Best of luck Neil. 

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Were you cut out of all beverages, even soft drinks? If so, it's a testament to your food that you stayed afloat under that arrangement as long as you did. I don't know how any restaurant could survive without the revenue from beverages. Drinks are where the highest percentage profit margins are if I'm not mistaken.

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On 12/30/2019 at 7:48 AM, Joe Bryant said:

Hang in there Buddy. 

I'll say here what I said to you on the phone. You Are Not Your Business.

I'll say it again. You Are Not Your Business.

 

This is a lesson I have had to relearn a few times over. :thumbup:

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On 1/1/2020 at 9:18 AM, Mr Anonymous said:

Were you cut out of all beverages, even soft drinks? If so, it's a testament to your food that you stayed afloat under that arrangement as long as you did. I don't know how any restaurant could survive without the revenue from beverages. Drinks are where the highest percentage profit margins are if I'm not mistaken.

yeah....also years of experience helped too.   I've been managing places since the early 90's.   But I still ignored the drink thing as this spot is good.   Catering on-site for private events has been around a quarter of my sales...which is amazing.   That was the only thing really keeping it going.  Knowing how much to cook before hand is so much better than the daily guessing game of regular service.   The new menu will eliminate that worry altogether.  

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1 hour ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

yeah....also years of experience helped too.   I've been managing places since the early 90's.   But I still ignored the drink thing as this spot is good.   Catering on-site for private events has been around a quarter of my sales...which is amazing.   That was the only thing really keeping it going.  Knowing how much to cook before hand is so much better than the daily guessing game of regular service.   The new menu will eliminate that worry altogether.  

Any chance you could just do catering? Was that sales enough or the potential sales enough to do that full time? That seems like a much less painful/time consuming job since as you said you purchase and cook exactly what you need.

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On 1/2/2020 at 10:52 AM, stbugs said:

Any chance you could just do catering? Was that sales enough or the potential sales enough to do that full time? That seems like a much less painful/time consuming job since as you said you purchase and cook exactly what you need.

Wouldn't be enough money to support my family.   But it would be great....just would take more of what I don't have....time and money.

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6 minutes ago, tipsy mcstagger said:

Wouldn't be enough money to support my family.   But it would be great....just would take more of what I don't have....time and money.

Gotcha. Is it not enough money and too much time as it is now or even if you were just focused on that? I’m assuming it’s just helpful now as a side thing, but it sounded like it could be easier on you if you had a chance to expand it and only do that.

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